FasTest FAQs


By Tushar Goyal June 1, 2017


FasTest Automation Value Proposition

FasTest offers a combination of a comprehensive pre-built test library, dashboards for reporting and test metrics, test and defect management tools and data mining tools to provide a complete test management solution that appeals to IT, Business and Management alike. FasTest is the only natively integrated solution for PeopleSoft test automation in marketplace today offering the value proposition described above.

    FasTest Pre-Built Library

      Q. What would be Astute’s approach for delivering pre-built test cases when there are a lot of customizations around the PeopleSoft products?

      Answer: Astute’s pre-built library has been proven on numerous PeopleSoft V9.2 Upgrade, PUM Update and Tools Upgrade projects. The FasTest pre-built library of automated PTF Tests is built with PTF and Test Automation Best Practices which can be used as an excellent reference point to create new Tests. Here is how the FasTest pre-built Test library is used for customizations.

      • Since Customizations are almost always a combination of vanilla features and Customer added features, the pre-built library of Tests and Shell Tests can be re-purposed and additional test steps can be inserted to cover testing of customized objects. These insertions are needed only for visible features such as records, pages, fields and so on and not for behind the scenes changes such as PeopleCode or App Packages.
      • Astute’s FasTest Implementation methodology starts with design workshops to capture requirements from Customer Business and IT teams. During these workshops, Astute collaborates with Customer teams to identify customizations and based on the level of customization (Low, Medium, High) we determine how to reuse the FasTest pre-built library.
      • As part of the FasTest maintenance and support agreement, Astute delivers updates to the pre-built library for each new PUM Image released by Oracle. Customers applying that PUM Image can take advantage of those scripts to test new functionality delivered in that Image.
      • Astute also supports the pre-built library when customers update or upgrade PeopleTools

    Q. What are the contents of Astute’s pre-built library? Do you cover all delivered modules and application pillars of PeopleSoft?

    Answer: Astute’s PTF pre-built library comprise of PTF Tests and Shell Tests. PTF Tests are the individual transactions and Shell Tests represent end to end business/functional scenarios. Astute’s pre-built library has test scripts for all modules within all of the PeopleSoft application pillars such as Financials and Supply Chain, Human Capital Management, Campus Solutions, etc. Our pre-built library has been meticulously created with inputs from our functional consultants and boast of real life functional scenarios.

    FasTest Automation Tools

    Q. Can FasTest accommodate and execute manual test cases? If yes, is there an automated way to enter (load) our existing test suite?

    Answer: The Test Manager feature within FasTest allows Customer to manage, track, edit and maintain both automated and manual tests. Test Manager, built in Fluid UI, is simple, intuitive and powerful. It has an automatic upload feature to upload a Customer’s current set of manual Tests into Test Manager via the Excel Upload feature. Test Manager has the following capabilities:-

    • Upload their current tests via Excel Upload feature (standard excel template provided)
    • Upload current test details including test steps for each test
    • Map uploaded tests to automated PTF tests where applicable
    • Assign tests to users where they can view, track and update tests
    • Create, update and manage defects for manual as well as automated tests using Defect Manager​

    Q. What’s Astute’s recommendation on centralized vs decentralized test instance for PTF and FasTest?

    Answer: Astute recommends all its’ customers a centralized test instance approach for PTF and FasTest. A dedicated test instance is used for hosting FasTest and also stores the entire PTF Test library. The reason for this approach is twofold: Firstly, the entire PTF Test library is away from the database/instance refresh path and eliminates the danger of losing PTF Test scripts. Secondly, with FasTest you can easily report on Test results from across all Test instances in one centralized location without the hassle of logging into another instance.

    Q. Can we schedule batch Test scripts?

    Answer: The Schedule Test feature in FasTest tools allows users to schedule one or more Tests to be executed at a specified date and time. Users can use the Test Case Generator and set up multiple Test Cases (sets of test values) for a single Test or Shell Test and schedule this to run at a specified date and time. Users can do the same with Process Scheduler and add multiple tests (for example, all tests in a module) into a batch and schedule those to run at a specified date and time. Tests are scheduled via Windows Scheduler.

    Q. Can we schedule as many tests as we want to run at a particular time ?

    Answer: Yes. You can schedule as many tests as you want into one batch schedule or split it up into multiple batch executions depending on the load. If you wish to run these batch schedules in parallel, you will have to provision multiple virtual desktops (Astute can help with this during the implementation) as each desktop client can run only one batch at a time and the batch programs will run in sequence on each client.

    Q. What kind of security is enabled as to who can view tests, who can schedule tests?

    Answer: FasTest has custom roles defined which are inline with the basic PTF security roles PTF User, PTF Admin and PTF Editor to manage access to different FasTest components for test management and scheduling. In addition, Astute can build custom PeopleSoft Security roles and permission lists to help you secure this as per your business need.

    Q. When the Customer buys FasTest, should it be installed separately on FSCM, HCM, etc.?

    Answer: Astute recommends that you have one centralized PeopleSoft instance (a demo instance) for each pillar of PeopleSoft, so one for FSCM, one for HCM etc. This is a best practice that Astute has developed through its experience with multiple FasTest and PTF implementations. Doing so keeps the FasTest automation library and test logs in one centralized place, which makes maintenance, reporting and test management easier and streamlined. 

    It is also possible to have one centralized PeopleSoft instance across all pillars (so one FasTest instance that has all the automated tests for all pillars in one database). However, for this to work, we would ideally like to see all those application pillars be on the same PeopleTools release.

    Additional Information on Scheduling Tests: How many virtual desktops (hosts) would be recommended (assume a certain level of concurrency with running PTF tests in each application). For a 20 user concurrency, there are a couple of options:

    • If you have Citrix, then you can have 5 or 10 Citrix connections to access virtual desktops that have PTF clients installed and that can access the FasTest instance where your automated and manual tests will be stored.
    • If you don’t have Citrix, then our initial recommendation would be to set up 3 Virtual Deskops each for FSCM and HCM. These Virtual Desktops can be used to run FasTest Batch Tests and to schedule tests to run off hours.
    • For ad-hoc testing, the 20 testers can have PTF Clients installed on their local machines so that they can run individual or small groups of tests directly on their laptops or desktops.
    • In short, test execution will be a combination of scheduled tests and ad-hoc tests. As you build more automation, you will find that you can schedule more tests and reduce the ad-hoc piece.

    Q. Can FasTest integrate with external data input files such as Microsoft Excel?

    Answer: FasTest allows users to load Test Cases (one or more sets of test values for a test) from Excel and run the Test for those values. The FasTest Excel Load for Test Cases has following features:

    1. Users can create Excel templates dynamically from the Test definition at any time and don’t have to worry about maintaining those templates for each test
    2. Fluid UI Interface, with a simple 3-step guided process
    3. Does not require the user to login to PTF
    4. Presents only relevant test data fields that require user input with appropriate field labels (as compared to the PTF excel template that only has numeric command ID’s)
    5. Compared to the PTF export/import functionality, FasTest Excel load feature is better as the Excel format is intuitive and readable with column and row headers whereas PTF functionality is very cryptic

    Q. How are test results captured (Screenshots/log files)?

    Answer: FasTest captures test results for automated and manual tests and presents it via the FasTest Dashboard (available in Classic as well as Fluid UI). The main capabilities here are:

    1. Intuitive online interface to search for test logs based on criteria such as test name, category, date range and test status
    2. Find desired test log and drill down to log details online to find screenshots, error messages, expected outcomes and more
    3. Log defects from test log detail
    4. Use Simplified Analytics to analyze defects
    5. Reports can be filtered by status, date range, test name, test module, environment & users
    6. Dashboard reports are updated instantly when the dashboard page is refreshed

    Q. What kind of dashboard and data mining reports does FasTest provide?

    Answer: Dashboard Reporting

    ​The FasTest Dashboard provides near real-time test and defect reports and analytics to the User. The following reports are available:

    • Test Execution Report: The report gives the user the ability to drilldown on test execution report by clicking on a module or process or testing phase elements to recognize and understand what list of tests were executed in that module or testing phase, by whom, when and test result (Pass or Fail)
    • Shell Test Execution Report: The report gives users the ability to drill down on each shell test execution by clicking on shell test link to identify the list of associated child test executed, by whom, when and the test results (Pass/Fail)
    • Defect Status Report: The report gives users the ability to drill down on defects report by clicking on Defect ID to check individual defect detail to understand and act on the defect
    • Consolidated Report: The report gives users the ability to view the number of times a test resulted in Pass, Fail, Warning, Fatal Error and None status based on the PeopleSoft test environment used. Results can also be filtered by user, month, year and type of test run.
    • Actual Vs Expected Report: The report gives users the ability to compare Actual test results with the Expected Test Results. Test Metrics are generated for all shell tests for a given parent folder.


    Data Mining

    The FasTest Data Mining Tool (also referred to as TestPlosion) provides Customers the ability to use PS Query based data mining scripts to generate one or more rows of test data from Customer’s own transaction history and/or configuration tables in PeopleSoft. The FasTest Data Mining Tool comes pre-built with some data mining queries and others can be built based on Customer need.

    Customers have the ability to convert their existing queries into data mining tools in FasTest and associate them with Tests or Shell Tests.

    Q. Does FasTest integrate with other testing tools?

    Answer: FasTest provides Web Service and Flat File integration capabilities to expose PTF Test, PTF log and FasTest Defect data elements for third party applications to consume. Integration can be bi-directional. FasTest provides the following web service endpoints currently:

    • ​Test definition
    • Test log
    • Defect definition
    • Defect status

    Astute will define the scope of integration with Customer and implement such integration at the time of FasTest implementation.

    Q. We have X no. of people, they wouldn't want to learn PTF. How can FasTest help?

    Answer: FasTest is an intuitive and powerful Automation tool which enables the user to do almost all of their Testing without logging into PTF client. This makes it easier for the Business users to test/manage/track testing without having to learn PTF. However, basic knowledge of PTF and Automated Testing is needed in order to be successful. Astute provides basic and advanced training as part of the FasTest software package and this training is included in all of our JumpStart implementation services.

    NOTE: In FasTest and PTF Terminology, the equivalent of a manual ‘test case’ is a Test or a Shell Test (contains multiple PTF Tests).

    Here are the skill sets that Astute will help Customer develop and maintain as part of the FasTest Implementation and Maintenance contracts:

    Q. Is there a PTF Test Maintenance Strategy that Astute provides to its Customers?


    Answer: Every Customer needs to define a PTF Test maintenance strategy to maintain all the PTF Test scripts. The PTF delivered ‘Test Maintenance Report’ is an effective tool for test maintenance. Some of the steps to utilize this report in case of a new project are highlighted below:

    • Package the customization/enhancement/PUM image changes in an application designer project
    • Generate a compare report by comparing it with the existing environment
    • Open the test maintenance report (PeopleTools-> Lifecycle Tools -> PeopleSoft Test Framework -> Create Test Maintenance Report)Compare the ‘Compare Report’ with the Test library (some or all the tests)Generate the report
    • The report will list all the tests that have been impacted by the change in the compare report
    • These tests then need to be updated. Tools like ‘Mass Update’ in PTF allows users to make changes in bulk, simplifying the process further​

    Q. Do we get FasTest license separately for each instance?

    Answer: FasTest is licensed by each PeopleSoft application pillar. FasTest for FSCM is a separate license and FasTest for HCM is another license. Each license is a perpetual license and gives the Customer the ability to add unlimited users (testers) and run it on as many PeopleSoft instances within that pillars as they deem necessary. Typically, Astute bundles multi-pillar licenses into one contract and offers discounts if the Customer is willing to purchase multiple pillars at the same time. The annual maintenance fee is applicable to each pillar that FasTest is licensed for.

    PeopleSoft Test Framework

    Q. What is PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF)?

    Answer: PeopleSoft Test Framework(PTF) is an automation tool for functional testing. The PTF recreates the actions of a user executing functional tests against a PeopleSoft Internet Architecture system inside a browser. It allows for testers to record their procedures and save for reuse in testing. The tests can be re-run as need be after upgrades, patches, or customization.

    Q. How does PTF work?

    Answer: PTF is a Record and Playback tool for functional testing. Users can record manual test procedures and save them within the framework. During Playback, users can execute those tests against the application to verify whether the application still behaves as expected. Each manually recorded test is saved as a special type of PeopleTools object called a test.

    Q. What was the earliest version of delivered PTF?

    Answer: PTF was first delivered in PeopleTools 8.51. Versions 8.52 through 8.55 have delivered significant revisions to the original release and also addressed some bugs.

    Q. How does PTF Connectivity work?

    Answer: The PTF client is a stand alone program that runs on a Microsoft Windows workstation.The PTF client connects to the PeopleSoft application database where test assets are stored using a secure HTTPS connection through Integration Broker Web Services. There is an installation folder under the PS HOME for installing the PTF client. Installation guidelines are available in the PeopleBooks. Astute has further documented to help you in the installation.

    Q. Can PTF be used with multiple browsers like Chrome or Firefox?

    Answer: From 8.55 onwards, PTF allows you to play back tests in IE, Chrome and Firefox. The recording feature is limited to Internet Explorer.

    Q. Can recorded Tests be migrated to new systems?

    Answer: Yes. Since the Test assets, including tests, test cases, logs and execution option, are stored in the PeopleSoft database and are treated as other Application Designer objects, they can be compared and copied between systems.

    Q. Do we need a coding language with PTF?

    Answer: There is no coding language per se. The scripts are built on delivered functions that are provided on the PTF Toolbar and Test Recorder. There is a Test Language Reference in PeopleBooks that describes the functions you can use within PTF scripts.

    Q. What are some of the limitations of PTF?

    Answer: PTF is not designed to:

    • Validate certain types of information, such as image appearance and relative position of data and online objects. PTF is a functional test tool rather than a user interface or browser testing tool.
    • Be a load testing tool; it replicates the experience of a single user running the application. Be a performance testing tool
    • Replicate certain types of user actions, such as drag-and-drop mouse actions.
    • Recognize or validate certain types of objects you might find in third party or external applications, such as Flash/Flex objects, data displayed in HTML regions, and so on.

    Q. Can PTF find errors and correct them?

    Answer: As a best practice, while scripts are being recorded, you need to incorporate error handling steps within the tests scripts which you would do otherwise if you were manually testing it. You also need to include verification steps at appropriate stages. So, look for error conditions online as part of the transaction and incorporate the error handling into your test script. Whether you can issue a corrective action within the test script itself depends on whether that is part of the same transaction in PeopleSoft.

    Q. Is it correct that PTF would auto detect SQR failures? How specifically can PTF report the cause of an SQR failure?

    Answer: PTF can trigger SQRs, Application Engine programs and PS Jobs from PeopleSoft run control pages. Once the process is triggered, PTF waits for the process to complete and will report the status of the process upon completion. PTF allows user to specify the ‘expected result’ which is compared with the ‘Actual result’ to log a Pass/Fail.

    Once the process execution completes, the test can drill down into the ‘message log’ and/or ‘View log’ link and take screenshots for further debugging in case the process fails

    Q. Are there any on-line testing scenarios for which PTF either cannot be used or is not a good fit?

    Answer: PTF has the following limitations:

    1. PTF cannot be used beyond the boundaries of PeopleSoft. For complete integration testing, it needs to be used in sync with 3rd party tools like Selenium. Or a frequent workaround for this limitation is to build tests for testing the integration points like Integration Broker services and combine it with validation queries for inbound/outbound data
    2. PTF cannot be used to open external files and read the contents. Example, PTF is not a good fit to validate the contents of a generated PDF report.​


    Q. What is effort needed to maintain test scripts for customizations and what is a typical process?

    Answer: The PTF delivered ‘Test Maintenance Report’ is an effective tool for test maintenance. High level steps include the following:-

    1. ​Package the customization/enhancement/PUM image changes in an application designer project
    2. Generate a compare report by comparing it with the existing environment
    3. Open the test maintenance report (PeopleTools-> Lifecycle Tools -> PeopleSoft Test Framework -> Create Test Maintenance Report)
    4. Compare the ‘Compare Report’ with the Test library (some or all the tests)
    5. Generate the report
    6. The report will list all the tests that have been impacted by the change in the compare report
    7. These tests then need to be updated. Tools like ‘Mass Update’ in PTF allows users to make changes in bulk, simplifying the process further

    FasTest Training Services

    Astute provides basic and advanced training for FasTest and PTF. Training is offered as a standalone service and also as part of the FasTest implementation consulting service. The detailed training agenda for PTF training is online here.

    Following are the skill sets that Astute will help Customer develop and maintain as part of the FasTest Implementation and Maintenance contracts

    Business Users

    • Use FasTest to find, view and run Tests
    • Use FasTest to view Test results
    • Use FasTest to find Test Logs, drill down to find specific Test outcome (pass/fail/expected value) and report it using dashboard style graphs and analytics
    • Use FasTest to Create, Manage, Track and Report Defects based on both manual and automated Tests. Use delivered Defect Reports and Defect Analytics.--Use FasTest to enter business requirements for testing, and track and manage requirements
    • Use FasTest to enter manual tests with test steps, enter test progress information
    • Use FasTest to run a single Test, a Shell Test or Batch of Tests/Shell Tests
    • Use FasTest to schedule one or more Tests
    • Use Data Mining tool to find values and populate them into Test Cases
    • Participate in design workshops and contribute to Test Automation design

    Business Analysts

    • All of the above skills PLUS
    • Design, build and unit test PTF Tests, Shell Tests and Test Cases
    • Create batch tests and test execution schedules
    • Create and manage Test Execution Profiles

    Technical (IT) Support Team

    • PTF Test Script Maintenance (editing, updating)
    • PTF Test Debugging

    FasTest Implementation

    Q. Will Astute help us define a Testing Strategy?

    Answer: Astute will create a testing strategy and plan document that incorporates PeopleSoft application testing using FasTest and PeopleSoft Test Framework. The test strategy will cover:

    • Test requirement definition
    • Test design including pass/fail and entry/exit criteria
    • Test Development
    • Test Maintenance
    • Naming Conventions
    • Defect Management
    • Testing Roles and Responsibilities

    Q. What is the scope of Implementation Workshops?

    Answer: Astute’s implementation methodology for FasTest starts with a series of workshops designed to gather business requirements for test automation.

    1. Astute will work with Customers to define the scope of testing during the first week of project (Conducted as requirement gathering workshops)
    2. Business Users or Module owners or IT experts will participate in the workshops and come prepared to demonstrate their implementation of PeopleSoft application modules and features so that Astute can gather requirements for your customization, configuration, data values, security, test validation criteria etc.
    3. This scope will be used to start design and development of automated tests

    Q. How will Astute help in implementing Customer Specific Tests?

    Answer: Astute defines Customer specific test cases as follows:

    1. Using its vast library of FasTest pre-built Tests and Tests Cases (Test Cases are PeopleTools objects that define the values used for a PTF Test) for all vanilla features in PeopleSoft. This is a baseline or starting point for test automation.
    2. By soliciting test requirements during the implementation workshops phase and using that to define Tests (steps and metadata that define the test structure) and Test Cases (data values) for each PeopleSoft feature or set of features.
    3. There is no limitation on the number of PTF Tests that can be included in a Shell Test. However, these numbers will be determined based on the Shell Test requirements we gather during the workshop sessions.
    4. Based on our experience, we have developed a standard set of regression tests (as PTF Shell Tests) to are tailored to PeopleSoft end-to-end business processes. Astute will propose this as a starting point to review scope and work with the Customer to modify this list to arrive at a list of discrete Tests and Shell Tests to meet Customer’s need.
    5. We typically define these discrete test cases for vanilla as well as customized application features in PeopleSoft and they may include queries, batch processes and reports.
    6. The process for developing these Tests is as follows: Astute shall record new tests for Vanilla features, Bolt-on, customization and/or enhancements
      • Identify tests that can be reused or modified from pre-built library
      • Modify pre-built tests where applicable
      • Incorporate verification/validation steps in automated tests as per Customer need
      • Create Shell Tests that include the necessary individual PTF Tests, sequence them to execute, pass values from one test to the other, include validation steps and measurement of expected outcomes

    Q. How is the Pass/Fail Criteria defined for every test?

    Answer:

    1. Definition of the Pass/Fail criteria is included in the FasTest implementation methodology. During the workshop phase, Astute will meet with Customer’s module owners to understand their specific pass/fail criteria for each Test. We will also offer examples of pass/fail criteria from our pre-built library as a reference.
    2. Pass/fail criteria is then coded into the PTF Test definition itself. Expected outcomes can be used to validate against actual outcomes and the results can be reported via the FasTest dashboard

    Our goal is to build automated tests that include validation of the test, i.e. inspecting the test after it has run or during the run to measure pass/fail criteria and later report it

    FasTest Support Services

    Q. What are the maintenance and support options that Astute offers? How are the scripts maintained for the PUM releases/upgrades?

    Answer. FasTest Support includes the following:

    1. FasTest Software Releases: Each FasTest Software releases includes a combination of new Test Automation features, enhancements and fixes to FasTest. Releases are typically twice a year in the spring and fall. FasTest software updates may also be available in between releases (off-cycle patch/fix/feature) based on Customer demand. FasTest is tested with each new PeopleTools release and updated when there are major PeopleTools updates and PeopleTools patches available from Oracle for PeopleSoft PeopleTools.​
    2. FasTest Pre-Built Test Library Updates: Astute provides FasTest pre-built library updates with the FasTest software release update (as described in point 1). In addition to this, Astute also updates the FasTest pre-built test library with each new Image of PeopleSoft 9.2 applications released by Oracle. This update is available within 4-6 weeks of release of a PUM Image and contains tests for new or enhanced features including Fluid UI feature tests.
    3. Technical Support: Support for FasTest and PTF is available via phone, email and web for the duration of the Support Contract signed by Customer.
    4. Astute also offers FasTest Managed Services to support, maintain, execute and create tests for Customer's vanilla and customized features. In this case, the Astute team will act as an extension to the Customer’s in-house PeopleSoft Test or QA team.​